Google Engineer Likely Did Copy Sun Code in AndroidWel this might not be so great for Google. The company, who claimed to have developed Android in a virtual clean room, coming down on copying and pasting very hard, seems to have been caught out. Google’s Java expert, Joshua Bloch, thinks that he might have copied some code. But it a long time ago, so he doesn’t remember.
The issue surrounds only 9 lines of code, 9 lines which aren’t even critical to Android (Android version 4.0 omitted them). But the problem was that those 9 lines of code are identical to 9 lines of code in Sun’s copyrighted software. What makes things more sticky is that Bloch likely had access to the code, considering that he wrote it in the first place.
When asked, Bloch started off saying "I don't recall." But in 2011, he made the mistake of saying:
"the same order and same name is a strong indicator that it is likely that I did.”He does have a valid defense for himself, however, which could attribute the 9 lines of code to good programming practices. See, code reuse is big in the programming world. Most programmers maintain snippets and functions which they find particularly useful so that they can do a task quickly without figuring out all new code. Bloch likely didn’t even realize that the code wasn’t his, with the sample being so small and him using it widely (it is also found in the Java Development Kit and Java SE 7.0).
Also, Sun was quite a bit looser with its code than Oracle apparently is. Oracle ended a fairly open company when it bought Sun. And no matter how clean the clean room, your coders are probably not going to write every function from scratch.
But the real issue is that such pasting was apparently against Google’s rules, and Bloch was told nothing about that. How can you have a clean room without enforcing the rules?
But Bloch is still sorry.
"If I did, it was a mistake, and I'm sorry I did it.”Somehow I doubt Sun will accept it.